A man taking his paddle board off of his bright blue car. Another man on the ramp, fishing pole in one hand, phone in the other.
A yellow tennis ball. A green Canada Dry gingerale can. A tiny plastic rake, yellow with orange handle.
The water still, horizon fading, blending into the pond. I drop my white towel in the sand and wade in slowly, then dive, feeling graceful, imagining my pale legs slowly disappearing into the dark water.
Holding my breath, exhaling bubbles through my nose, skimming the bottom for a long while and wondering what it would be like to remain there, not drowning or struggling, but peacefully sliding along.
Up to the surface, air, floating on my back, looking up at the cloud-filled sky, trying to appreciate the softness of the water and the dense quiet in my ears. Arms outstretched, every muscle relaxing, letting go, drifting away from shore. Thinking about God and bigger things and reasons for being.
My head lifts to see the man carrying his paddle board to the water. It is bright blue like his car. I watch him and our eyes meet in the dim light of dusk. We smile. My tendency is to say hello or make conversation, but I don't. I do not want to talk to anyone and it seems to be okay.
I return my head to the water, the clouds, floating in the soft cool water. Quiet. Alone. When I lift my head again, the blue paddle board and its man are gone, far past me on the pond's surface, smaller and smaller, silently becoming part of the treeline.
Ready to get out now, I swim to where my feet touch the sand and walk out of the water to my white towel, wrapping myself like a child, comforted and calm, taking it all in.
The other man is on the ramp, still, collecting his fishing gear. I do not want to talk, although I feel his presence and he says Good Evening in a voice as deep as the bullfrogs in the background. It ruffles my solitude a bit but isn't unpleasant. I reply Good Evening, how are you? He says I am fine, you? I say I am fine, now. Thank you.
I walk to my car, past the tennis ball and the gingerale can. Random remnants of a day.